F-18 FDG PET-CT for predicting survival in patients with recurrent glioma: a prospective study

Neuroradiology (2011) 53:1017–1024. DOI 10.1007/s00234-011-0898-3

Recurrent gliomas are usually histologically high grade; either due to recurrence of a de novo high-grade primary or anaplastic transformation in case of low-grade tumors. Survival in these patients is variable. The objective of the present study is to evaluate the role of FDG PET-CT for predicting survival in a large group of patients with suspected recurrent glioma.

Methods A total of 81 previously treated histopathologically proven glioma patients; with clinical and conventional imaging findings suspicious of recurrence were included in this study. All patients underwent FDG PET-CT study. Based on tumor to white matter (T/W) and tumor to grey matter (T/G) ratios, all lesions were scored on PET-CT (PET scores 0, 1 and 2). Patients were followed up clinically and by repeated imaging. Data was censored, if the patient died of disease or at the end of the study. Survival analysis was done for each variable employing univariate analysis followed by multivariate analysis, using variables found significant on univariate analysis.

Results PET score was found to be the most significant predictor of survival in univariate and multivariate analysis (p 0.003). Patients having PET score 2 had poorer survival compared to both PET score 0 (p 0.001) and PET score 1 (p 0.004). Other covariates found to have significant correlation with survival were primary treatment modality and clinical symptoms at the time of recurrence.

Conclusion FDG uptake on PET-CT is a strong predictor of survival in patients with suspected recurrent glioma.